© 2019 Polyamines are a class of poly-cationic aliphatic amines, playing a role in different cellular processes such as maintaining intracellular pH and membrane potential that are relevant for general cellular physiology and ageing. The development of analytical methods for detection and quantitation of this class of compounds has been challenging due to the basic nature of these species. Both liquid chromatography (LC) and gas chromatography (GC) have been applied for separation, mostly coupled to mass spectrometry (MS) for detection. However, current methodologies suffer from lengthy extraction protocols and limitations in separation and detection levels. Here, we present a simplified and optimised method for straightforward extraction of polyamine metabolites including spermine, spermidine, norspermidine, cadaverine and putrescine from cellular and tissue material. We demonstrate that strong acid-based extraction and chemical derivatisation not only improves isolation, but also recovery. Combined with two-dimensional gas chromatography, this method provides clear separation and femtomole sensitivity for the profiling of polyamines.
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